Feedback Focus: Terror part II

[color=#6666ff]Hello lovely Sky-Captains. [/color]
[color=#6666ff]I’m checking in to gather your thoughts on Terror. I was going to bump our existing Terror thread, but I think it’s best to start afresh now we’ve seen significant changes. So, in the last two updates these are the Terror changes we’ve seen:[/color]

  • [color=#6666ff]There are now variables rates of Terror, five of them: losing Terror, not gaining any Terror, gaining Terror, gaining lots of Terror, gaining bucket loads of Terror (and yes those are the terms we’ve been using round the office - very technical dev speak ;)[/color][/li][li][color=#6666ff]There’s a safe area around ports where you stop gaining Terror - the skull/bar on your HUD turns white[/color][/li][li][color=#6666ff]There’s an ambient rate of Terror gain around the Reach of about 1% per 10 seconds[/color][/li][li][color=#6666ff]When gaining Terror at that ambient rate the HUD pulses a faint red[/color][/li][li][color=#6666ff]The HUD pulses a deeper red when you are gaining lots of Terror (~1% every 5 seconds) which happens around Horror Spectacles (and some Discoveries with Terror-like effects) or when you have less than half Crew aboard your locomotive[/color][/li][li][color=#6666ff]Accompanying this is a spooky camera effect that creeps in at the corner of the screen[/color][/li][li][color=#6666ff]‘Gaining bucket loads of Terror’ can occur in situations where you have less than half your ship’s Crew compliment and you enter a Horror Spectacle’s area - here you’ll see a complete red skull on the HUD, faster pulsing, more camera effects and a rate of ~1% Terror gain per 3 seconds or so[/color][/li][li][color=#6666ff]Wonder spectacles on the other hand cause your Terror to decrease, and the skull/bar turns a soothing blue when this happens[/color][/li][li][color=#6666ff]Camera effects are present around Wonder Spectacles too, it light grows brighter for a time. [/color][/li][li][color=#6666ff]We’ve also added terrifying Terror music which kicks in when you reach 90%, as a way to warn you that your Condition will soon tick over if you don’t take action pronto[/color]

[color=#6666ff]So, onto the questions:[/color]

  • [color=#6666ff]Have any of you had time to play with the new build yet?[/color][/li][li][color=#6666ff]What do you think? What are your thoughts on Terror now? [/color][/li][li][color=#6666ff]Are you planning your journey around the Reach differently in light of the Spectacles/Discoveries?[/color][/li][li][color=#6666ff]Have you come across any Spectacles that did actually freak you out?[/color][/li][li][color=#6666ff]Do you find the feedback as to when you are gaining/losing Terror clearer?[/color][/li][li][color=#6666ff]What do you think of the different rates of Terror gain?[/color][/li][li][color=#6666ff]Does the Terror music scare the living daylights out of you when it kicks in?[/color][/li][li][color=#6666ff]I think one thing I’ve heard so far is there is still confusion as to what Condition does. Am I right about that?[/color][/li][li][color=#6666ff]Any other Terrifying thoughts? [/color]

edited by FailbetterFuzz on 2/14/2018

Sad to say that spectacles haven’t affected my journey much after their initial discovery. Two main reasons:

  1. The terror reducing effect doesn’t feel strong enough to be worth the extra terror gained + fuel + supplies cost of lengthening my journey

  2. A problem i brought up before this update was even released; too many spectacles are off the beaten path. The vast majority of them in my current map are around the outer rim of the reach.

While this is great for making them feel difficult to discover, it also means there’s a virtually nil chance of them being in, or even near, your proposed path between ports. Adjusting to go by them is typically not economically feasible

That said, spectacles ARE amazing for exploration gameplay, and they fit well into that. But I don’t think they fit well into trading gameplay as rest stops on a route.

I made a thread with some ideas on making them more exploration-focused over here

idea seems popular

Yes, played a fair bit and found a few Horrors and one Wonder (The Apoidean Gardens).

[color=#6666ff]What do you think? What are your thoughts on Terror now?
[/color][color=#6666ff][color=#6666ff]Are you planning your journey around the Reach differently in light of the Spectacles/Discoveries?

Much more manageable now. The Horrors/Wonders don’t make much difference on short runs but if they’re part of a long loop pf stations I factor in the terrors at least. The gardens are an Ok place to park to take the edge off if I ended up taking on too much terror, but as on my map they’re on a short leadbetter/carillion/lustrum run they’re not in the most useful place (since I can burn off terror at Lustrum).
Side note: SSk still has the SS UI wart where repeatable actions at a port are really clunky and annoying to do - best case is you have to click, laboriously scroll back, click again, ad nauseam. In the worse cases you have to click, click again to exit, scroll and click to get back to where you were, and repeat.

[/color][quote=FailbetterFuzz][/color][/color][color=#6666ff]Have you come across any Spectacles that did actually freak you out?[/quote]
Nothing quite as terrifying as being jumped by two scrive-spinsters or 3 marauders just
materialising around me leaving me stuck in crossfire.

Old Tom’s Well is quite worrying though. Wanted to map it but didn’t want to get stuck.

[/color][color=#6666ff][quote=FailbetterFuzz][/color][/color][/color][color=#6666ff]Do you find the feedback as to when you are gaining/losing Terror clearer?[/color][color=#6666ff][/quote]

Much clearer.
[/color][color=#6666ff][quote=FailbetterFuzz][/color][/color][/color][color=#6666ff]What do you think of the different rates of Terror gain?[/color][color=#6666ff][/quote]

I think it works well… terror isn’t the overriding concern it was before but I do still need to pay attention to it.
The beneficial effects of Wonders may need some balancing though. Currently you always want to avoid
Horrors but the one Wonder I’ve found is marginal (because it’s near a terror-loss port anyway).

[/color][color=#6666ff][color=#6666ff][color=#6666ff][quote=FailbetterFuzz][/color][/color][/color][color=#6666ff]Does the Terror music scare the living daylights out of you when it kicks in?[/color][color=#6666ff][/quote]

No, but it’s a nice touch.

[/color][color=#6666ff][color=#6666ff][color=#6666ff][quote=FailbetterFuzz][/color][/color][/color][color=#6666ff]I think one thing I’ve heard so far is there is still confusion as to what Condition does. Am I right about that?[/color][/quote]
It’s pretty clear to me what it does, but I’m very careful not to let it increase these days.

I think the current terror system works well, and I feel like I have a good idea about what’s happening to my terror at which point.

It’s making me generally do my trips in number eight - figures, going to a few stops and then crossing long distances by going through New Winchester, returning early if I run into something that spooks my crew thoroughly. I like this, because it feels like a realistic way one would pilot a skytrain in madness-space, making sure the crew get enough stops home to keep them functional. Because of the condition levels, I find myself more concerned over terror than in Sunless Sea, and am actually taking my poor crew’s sanity into account when making travel plans.

Also, the terror music has felt very appropriate - scary and makes me tense, but used sparingly enough to keep its effect.

Some issues I have:

-Is it just my imagination or is there a slightest red tinge when just &quotgaining terror&quot? I feel like I keep seeing one, but maybe I just need to get my eyes checked.
-The &quotgaining lots of terror&quot effect seems a bit unfitting when the condition causing it is just &quotcrew under half strength&quot. I get that that’s a scary situation and high terror levels are a way to signal that one should not pilot the train with a skeleton crew, but the visual effect is so intense it gives me this silly feeling where a completely intact train drives through a calm and peaceful view - manned by a handful of people locked in a perpetual scream because they’ve seen how many work shifts they have coming up. :p
-Now you mention it, I’m actually unclear as to what condition does beyond the floating corpse -events. Yet I’ve been avoiding it like the plague, so, good signalling of it as an undesirable thing, I suppose :p

…And yes, Faith’s Fall may have given me a bit of a startle. Just a bit.

I think some spectacles being moving things, not just static, might make them more scary? Maybe even a chance of hull damage from flying debris or flailing tentacles or so? Combining the visual effect with a gameplay element to really make the player afraid of messing with them.

Very new player here, so I haven’t experienced the previous iteration of the terror system. Two observations:

  1. Terror seems to be very manageable (I haven’t gone over the initial level in 3 hours of gameplay). I think it takes a bit away from the feeling of impending doom that you had in Sunless Sea, for example.
  2. I think I’ve encountered a horror – towers with weird symbols on them. They were pretty cool to look at, but I had to wonder – will they be interactable in some way or referenced in in-game lore? If not, I feel like they might lose their fascination after one or two encounters. They would just be “terror-gaining areas”.

Also, I wish there was some reward for sticking around in a horror, so that it might be worth going in there at all instead of just avoiding it (an obvious choice at the moment).

[color=#6666ff]Thanks to everyone who contributed. We’ll be looking over your thoughts and suggestions in the next few sprints. I’m going to unpin this thread now, but everyone is more than welcome to keep adding to it. [/color]

I’m about to head off to Albion, but have been enjoying the new Terror features. I’m much more aware of gaining/losing Terror now - and I love the effects when the rate increases / decreases sharply around Horrors / Wonders.

I have, however, not gone beyond the beginning level of Condition. This has been true since the new Terror features were released. For reasons related more to route planning, Prospects, etc. I tend to visit about half or more of the ports in The Reach before coming back in to London - and yet I haven’t gone beyond the starting Condition.

So the atmosphere and awareness for Terror is great - but from a game mechanic POV… shrug. I still enjoy playing the game, and there are some awesome moments of discovery - plus the occasional panic when raiders gang up on me - but Terror isn’t the motivator / consideration that it was in Sunless Sea, even compared to having played awhile in Sunless Sea and getting the hang of managing Terror.